BELLEVILLE, Ill. – It was an emotional ending to a drunk driving case. A man was killed while riding his motorcycle near Belleville three years ago. Thursday’s sentencing ended with tears and sobbing from families on both sides of the aisle.
“If you’re drinking, just drink responsible. If you’re doing anything else, don’t get behind the wheel and hurt somebody or kill them,” said Deborah Nazari.
Her son, 23-year-old Douglas Landers, was killed April 1, 2016. He was riding his motorcycle when he was struck and killed by a car driven by 51-year-old Patricia Schantz.
Landers’ mother told the courtroom how devastating her son’s death has been; a pain that she and her family cannot escape.
“It will never go away. Never,” Nazari said.
The prosecution said Schantz’s blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit, that she had been drinking from around 10:30 p.m. the night before until 5 a.m., consuming eight beers and two shots. Schantz’s family and the defense attorney countered that Schantz was a good person, that her children needed her and prison time would do her no good.
But the judge ruled Schantz would not get probation and sentenced her to six years in prison.
The defendant said she was sorry many times to the victim’s family. Nazari said she’s still processing what Schantz said.